XIMENES CROSSWORD No. 114
1. L. C. Wright (Selby): Chopin’s greater compatriot—originator of many Scottish reels (chopin1 = Scottish measure containing about a quart; drunken reeling).
2. G. Stanhope-Lovell (Chessington): Only an average three-quarter; by no means the best winger capped for Scotland (2 mngs.; contains 3 quarts and has lid; winger = bird).
3. R. Postill (Jersey): Lang drink wi’ a head on and no’ a cocktail! (2 mngs.; has lid; cock’s crest).
Cdr H. H. L. Dickson (Fareham): Whisky Galore. Begin with apt wreck; many confused types then follow (anag. + pi then; ref. 1949 film).
Brig W. E. Duncan (NW3): Spirited three quarter, Scottish, capped and a tough wing (2 mngs.; contains 3 quarts and has lid; bird).
C. E. Gates (Kettering): Diagnosis:—hip disease and ill-adjusted patten. Prescription:—aqua vitae ad lib.! (anag.; p. = hoop used for hip disease; a.v. = spirits).
J. P. Hancox (Birmingham): The top layer must be combed, or your hatpin, pet, will not stay in place (anag.; layer = hen; comb = crest).
D. Hawson (Malton): Birdie at two successive holes and the cup’s yours! (tap pit hen).
H. C. Hills (W. Drayton): A far from violent blow, yet the mine-layer goes under! A vessel with a big draught too! (tap pit hen (layer)).
T. W. Melluish (SE24): Hexa-pint pot with hepta-pint capacity! (anag.).
L. I. Milne (W11): Pa, the pint seems to have turned into about six (anag.).
G. M. Neighbour (Princes Risboro): Curtail the drink allowance and you’ll get a strike at the pithead without notice! (tap + pithe(ad) (+ n)).
A. P. O’Leary (Rugby): Draw mine, Jenny; a bumper (tap pit hen; b. = full glass, etc.).
T. E. Sanders (Walsall): When there’s a bit of a blow forward a mine-layer is very draughty, stout vessel though she may be (tap pit hen (layer); pun on draught).
E. W. Startup (NW2): Strike on the mine-layer! They’ll lose their grog issue in that vessel (tap pit hen (layer)).
T. R. Tear (N8): Patent hip-fitting large-capacity flask (anag.).
D. L. Tuckett (N4): Where there are spirits on tap—a drop of Hennessey too! And it’s good measure you get! (tap pit Hen(nessey); mine goblins; brand of cognac).
Capt C. Tyers (Elstead): Nip round the back to the tap, and get a good supply of beer, will you? (tap + the in nip (rev.); N.B. use of “back” for “down” word not recommended).
J. A. Watson (Storrington): Dangerous old-time Scottish three-quarter, with powerful kick. Generally drunk, yet always good for 6 pts. (cryptic def.; contains 3 quarts; pints, points).
Sqn Ldr G. Wright (Market Drayton): A skinful? About three quarts of Scotch topped with a little Hennessey (tappit (= crested) + Hen(nessey); brand of cognac).
J. S. Young (SE21): Two holes in one followed by a birdie! Drinks all round (tap pit hen).
COMMENTS.—342 correct and very few incorrect, in spite of a minor epidemic of single squares not filled in. The general standard of clues soared, as I rather expected. In the end I was fazed by a very difficult decision, and at least two competitors—Cdr. Dickson and Mr. Melluish—were very unlucky not to win prizes. The topical value of Mr. Wright’s clue [centenary of Chopin’s death], added to its neatness, just got it home, but it was a photo finish for the first five and others weren’t far behind. A few others who used Mr. Melluish’s bright idea spoilt it by over-elaboration. Pa and the pint were very popular: so were birdies from the golf course and mine-layers; I hope I have chosen the best of these for H.C.s.
A clue which worried several competitors was that to EXAMPLE: “3-7” signified “3 to 7,” i.e. “the 3rd letter to the 7th letter.” Look out for new devices now and then! “M-o-ist” for MOIRE and “bar-on” for STEER have been pointed out to me as red herrings: they were good ones but not intentional. “Entasis” also caused some temporary trouble: I admit that I had thought of that one! The magnificent clue I gave to CANNAE did not everywhere meet with the appreciation it deserved! One competitor merely asks whether I am proud of it: how can he?
RUNNERS-UP.—E. S. Ainley, Maj P. S. Baines, F. A. Clark, F. L. Constable, W. Darby, F. E. Dixon, E. C. Double, G. D. Dunlop, Mrs N. Fisher, H. W. Flewett, R. E. Foley, I. C. Gilchrist, S. Goldie, S. B. Green, Mrs D. Haycraft, C. H. Hudson, J. G. Hull, R. P. Irving, Mrs L. Jarman, J. P. Lloyd, R. Lumley, Mrs E. Mellersh, D. P. M. Michael, F. E. Newlove, A. C. Norfolk, R. O’Donoghue, Rev E. B. Peel, H. C. Pilley, H. Rainger, H. Ingram Rees, A. Robins, Capt W. E. Ronnfeldt, Mrs E. Shackleton, W. K. M. Slimmings, A. E. Smith, L. R. Smith, O. Carlton Smith, L. E. Thomas, H. T. R. Twyford, G. W. Wagstaff, W. R. Watson-Smyth, J. B. Widdowson.